Cooking & Eating

Three Simple, Scrumptious Party Dips

We are entering party season, people. Maybe we’re already in it–it’s football season, after all, and there were plenty of Halloween parties just a few days ago, and then there will be Friendsgivings and, of course, Thanksgiving itself. Maybe you’re throwing these parties, maybe attending them. Maybe you’ve been asked to bring something–an appetizer? You could just pick up a bag of Doritos. People like those. But if you want to take it another step further, here are three sure-to-please recipes, none of them requiring any culinary skill or know-how. Read on but beware: you might drool. That’s okay. It’s a normal, human response.

These are all my twists on some party classics. For example, the classic “queso” recipe (the one on the back of the Velveeta box) calls for two ingredients. Mine calls for four:


Four-Ingredient Queso

8 ounces Velveeta
8 ounces pepper jack cheese
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 2.25 ounce can sliced black olives

Microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, stirring every minute or two, until melted. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Then we have my holiday twist on hummus, which is delicious and healthy (and vegan/gluten free!): Continue reading “Three Simple, Scrumptious Party Dips”

Cooking & Eating

Curry in a Hurry: My Favorite Lazy Weeknight Meal


When I was first learning to cook, I took a lot of pride in preparing even the simplest recipes. I was of the persuasion that cooking was magic, so even if all I had to do was boil something in water (I was so proud of my first St. Patrick’s Day corned beef, for which you do exactly that) I felt like I was on Emeril Live!. You see, prior to discovering Food Network, I didn’t know you could make your own pudding (except for rice pudding, which my parents loved but struck me as distinctly different from pudding pudding), or what tiramisu was, or how on earth to cut any vegetable into uniform pieces. I had followed a few recipes in my time and created edible food but mostly under duress–like that time my mom had to work Thanksgiving so Dad did the turkey and I made the sides. I don’t know if it was any good, either, because that was before I learned to like Thanksgiving food, so I didn’t eat much of it except pumpkin pie, which was overcooked and soggy-bottomed, but I loved it because I’d never had it any other way. (Sorry, Mom.)

Anyhow. It was in this phase of life, learning to cook and all, that I found a recipe online for chicken panang curry. Continue reading “Curry in a Hurry: My Favorite Lazy Weeknight Meal”